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Author Topic: QSL question  (Read 759 times)
AF5KS
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« on: December 04, 2006, 12:16:45 PM »

I have recently recieved two QSL cards back from contesters I sent cards and s.a.s.e. to. The cards they sent back have the date shown on them as 28-X-06 instead of 28-10-06. Are these invalid cards?  Why would they put an x indtead of the number 10?  I would like to have these cards for my dxcc.  
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KY6R
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 12:36:48 PM »

Some use Roman numerals for the month. The X means 10 in this case. I am pretty sure your card checker will allow this.

This is because there are many different date "formats" that people use from country to country (i.e. DD-MON-YY, DD-MON-YYYY, MM/DD/YY, MM/DD/YYYY, etc, etc).

Its easy to confuse a month and day and even year when all of the numbers are 12 are less. For example, 06/06/06 could have the DD, MM or YY in any spot in that format!

I always use DD-MON-YYYY because it never can be confused. I'm also a database programmer, and that's what I always use in my programs.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006, 02:33:56 PM »

DD-MON-YYYY is problematic because the months are abbreviated differently in different languages.

I suggest using the ISO 8601 standard: YYYY-MM-DD

see http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods services/popstds/datesandtime.html


   73,

       Dave, AA6YQ
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AF5KS
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006, 02:54:49 PM »

On a related note, do contesters generaly QSL, I seem to have allot of cards outstanding. I sent them with a sase so I would have thought they would have come back fairly quickly. They were all stateside contacts.  Jack
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AC4RD
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2006, 04:34:54 PM »

Jack, some contesters are GREAT about QSLing, and some are terrible.  It's hard to know for sure.  Big worldwide DX contests are GREAT for DXing, trying to pick up a few new countries--as you appear to have figured out. :-)  But the short answer about QSLing is "Who knows?"   Some contest groups have a great volunteer handling QSLs, some don't.  The best way to handle contest QSLs is to try for the ones you want (new countries, etc.) and not get disappointed about the ones who don't QSL (I'm looking at YOU, 5I3A and EM1U!)  By the way, big contesting groups often are chipping in for postage and printing and that sort of thing--so if I bother to QSL directly (for the new countries, mostly), I'll include a 'green stamp' or two with my SASE for stateside managers, and 2-3 'green stamps' plus an extra for printing and incidental costs, for overseas QSL managers.  Might as well make it as easy as we can for the rare ones--NOBODY needs another North Carolina QSL but I"m darned sure DELIGHTED to get one from KH5 or 9N!  :-)  Good luck Jack!  --ken ac4rd
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WO7R
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2006, 08:20:18 AM »

Contesters run the gamut.  But, yes, on average, you're more likely to have problem QSLing a contest call than any other kind.

Some of this is a matter of route, though. Bureau cards are particularly tough to get for contesting.  

You also have to be very careful to know what the QSL route is and it may not be announced ahead of the contest.  It's not uncommon for a contest call to be differnt than what the bulletins said ahead of time, for instance. That means the route may not be known for a while.

Worse, in some countries, contest calls are actually handed out mulitple times (a fact seldom noted with most on-line QSL route sources).  If you send a 'buro' card to "DX0TST via N0CRD" because that's what the on-line source said (but didn't tell you it applied only to some 2003 operation) and you should have routed it to 'K0QSL' for the 2006 CQ WW, then you're out of luck until you get it straight.  The multiple times issue is often very acute for contest calls since they are "special" and "short."

Some contesters are getting to be pretty good about using LOTW, which is all many people need for awards purposes.  RTTY contesters (and RTTY operators generally) seem particularly prone to do so.  This is true whether today's contest is RTTY or not.  I expect that, over time, this aspect will continue to improve.
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WO7R
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2006, 08:28:34 AM »

As far as the original question goes, two things:

1.  I have long used "European" conventions for calendar date.

Usually:   24 Dec 06

. . .and it hasn't cost me a card yet that I know of, even to places like Russia where the Latin script (nor English) is the native language.

The "ISO" convention, however, isn't a bad idea and probably works.  

Despite my abandonment of "all numbers," however, I like spelling out the date explicitly.  Then, there's no question of month versus day.  Hams are supposed to know English everywhere and, in truth, it does seem they know enough to deal with the normal and customary calendar abbreviations.  Or, at least to 800+ returned DX cards with a small "not in log rate" it has proved true for me.  Just don't get cute with the names.

2.  I have been credited for both 5BWAZ (CQ) and DXCC purposes with DX cards with just about any imaginable date convention.  Stateside, too, for that matter.  Most stateside hams use US conventions for stateside calls, but others (perhaps habit, perhaps due to computerization) do whatever they do for DX.

3.  The value  3 X 95  is understood by checkers to be October 3, 1995 without hassle.  It's never been an issue.  Neither has 29 VII 02 been interepreted as anything but July 29, 2002.

Dates are not all that often critial anyway.  The only time I got caught out on that was when I turned in an "East German" card that actually post-dated the reunion of East and West Germany (the operator still had the "Y2" call that is still, I believe, a valid prefix for Federal Republic of Germany to this day).  DXCC told me I already had Federal Republic of Germany on that band and mode ;-) .


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W3LK
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2006, 01:56:27 PM »

<< DD-MON-YYYY is problematic because the months are abbreviated differently in different languages.>>

Interesting, in that I have never received a card from a foreign station using anything other than the "English" abbreviations.

<< I suggest using the ISO 8601 standard: YYYY-MM-DD >>

Why, when the vast majority of the experienced DX'ers are using DD-MON-YYYY with no problems? Another "standard" isn't necessary.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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AF5KS
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2006, 02:13:10 PM »

I send a sase with all my cards even overseas ones, I get my foreign stamps from Mr. Plum.  The thing is I sent out allot of stateside cards about 6 weeks ago and I figured that since  I took the time to learn the correct contest "lingo" and participate so they can get points that they could at least mail me back my envelope empty if they dont want to QSL.  That way I'd at least know they recieved the damed thing.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006, 08:32:59 PM »

I do some modest contesting and will often send out cards for new countries or new bands ciountries I need and usuall get back about 90 to 95 % of them  I think I am currently at 229 worked and 220 recievd back, so pretty good.  I do send the cards off promptly after the contest, and if USA card send a sase and my card, if Canada or Mexico I send a self adressed envelope and a buck and for the rest of the world I send the self addressed envelope and 2 bucks.

if it is a DXpedition or something unique I will send a 5 dollar bill with a note to donate the excess to the dexpidition.

and then sometimes I will just run a bunch of labels off the logger and send a bunch via the buro, , and get those back some day.....

I used to use IRC's and by special stamps, but now I can send to Mexico or Csanada for 2 stamps ( what ever the letter rate happens to be) and use 3 stamps for the rest of the world.  

I never put a hams call on the envelope, and have had good luck this way.

it works for me, Your Mileage May Vary
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